Peanut butter cups
( MAKES 12 )
Photo by Tam West
On a recent visit to Raglan I was delighted to see lots of new eating places, and had my heart stolen by a particularly luscious peanut butter cup from The Local Eatery. After licking my lips, fingers and face clean of yummy gooey chocolate, I asked the owner, Cheryl, what on earth it was made of and — happily — she was willing to share the secret.
I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly to make them smaller so I can forgive myself if I eat two at a time rather than one and, as you’ll see, the chocolate is actually very simple, it’s based on cocoa powder and coconut oil. There’s a wide range of coconut oils available at all sorts of prices and I found that an affordable one worked well for these. This is a versatile recipe — you can adjust the sweetness by using more or less maple syrup, and the filling-to-chocolate ratio is customisable too. I used small muffin trays as my moulds but you could use ice cube trays or small plastic pottles. The coconut oil makes the chocolate very forgiving: you can melt and cool it repeatedly without running into problems.
Once made I keep these in the fridge, removing them and allowing them to warm for 20 minutes or so before serving. A final warning: these are delicious — just remember they are pretty much the textbook definition of treat food, for occasional enjoyment.
|½ cup||Crunchy peanut butter, Pics brand or homemade; preferably without palm oil or sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Maple syrup|
|1 tsp||Vanilla extract|
- For the filling, whip all ingredients together in a bowl. Check the flavour for your preference — you may like a little more salt, or less sweetener (add more peanut butter, if so).
- To make the chocolate, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Taste for sweetness, you can add more maple syrup if you like. Pour half of this mix into regular sized muffin tins that have been greased with a little melted coconut oil. Fill about a third full. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Spoon a dollop of peanut butter mix on the top of the chocolate, dividing evenly between all tins. Use the back of a wet teaspoon to pat the peanut butter into a neat mound, leaving space around the edges for chocolate to form sides. Make sure the peanut butter doesn’t go as high as the edges of the muffin pan, and once again leave room for a covering of chocolate.
- Warm the remaining chocolate a little if needed, then pour gently over the peanut butter to fill the pans.
- Carefully transfer to the fridge and leave overnight to set (or pop in freezer for 45 minutes if you can’t wait).
- Remove gently from the tins with a knife, then serve with a sprinkling of crushed roasted peanuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.